This blog is about me changing. I have met so many amazing women in my life and have been so inspired by them. I want to be like that. I feel like I am looking down a long road but it is the most important road of my life. I am a new wife and now a mother. If there is ever a time to change it is now...

7.31.2013

Postpartum: It's IMPORTANT!

Ever since writing the last post I have felt prompted several times to write another post.  The Postpartum Post.  I have learned a lot about having babies in the past few years.  A lot about what I have learned has made a huge difference in how I give birth and approach pregnancy but the most important thing I have learned is how important it is to take care of yourself postpartum.  Postpartum is the first year after you have a baby.

*Disclaimer.  I have learned tons about pregnancy, birth and postpartum but I realize that my way of having babies and taking care of myself is not necessarily right for everyone.  So take my advice or some of it or leave it altogether.  Just do what supports you.  That is my hope, that you will support, love and take care of your body and spirit after having your baby.

Having a baby is the greatest thing you will ever do as a woman.  Your body has the power to create life, sustain it and also bring it into this world.  It is amazing.  It is truly awesome.  It is NOT easy and it isn't always pretty.  It can be very difficult to heal both physically and spiritually from pregnancy and birth.  Even if you had an easy pregnancy and a simple uncomplicated birth - your life has been changed forever.  You are now a mother.  That is huge.  HUGE.  Don't sell yourself short.  Take care of yourself postpartum.

Many women are meticulous in taking care of their bodies while pregnant and spend hours researching and drawing up birth plans to ensure a healthy pregnancy and happy safe birth but they don't know that just as much, if not more, time and attention should be put into ensuring you have a happy postpartum.  This is such a special time, you should be able to enjoy it.

Until, I had Lemma, I didn't know that the time after having a baby could be so wonderful and so happy!  If you've read the past couple of posts on this blog then you know my postpartum experiences have been miserable but I have learned so much about how to prevent postpartum depression and keeping mama happy as can be post baby.  Here is what I have learned.



1. Placenta Pills.  I know this is weird to most people but I will always recommend placenta encapsulation to every women.  It can only help you to avoid postpartum depression, give your milk lots of added nutrients, give you TONS of energy and increase your milk supply.  It won't hurt you or your baby.  If you think you'd never do it, trust me, just save your placenta anyway.  If you end up suffering from postpartum depression like I did - you'd do anything to heal and get your life back.  I took placenta pills in combination with herbs that naturally help the female body to regulate it's own hormones.  Leave me a comment if you are interested in the herbs I took.  I really believe I got the most out of my placenta pills because I took the herbs along with them.

2. Have help.  Organize help for you and your family for after the baby is born.  Do not try to be a hero.  Have as much help available as you can.  A mom, mother in-law, sister, friend, or if you are me, you can have all of the above come and help after the baby is born.  What do I mean by help? I mean, take care of the house, cook, do laundry, clean, do dishes, take care of other children, run errands, etc.  Notice that this list of duties does not include taking care of your newborn.  That is your job.  This is your time to spend with your brand new baby.  This is your time to get to know this little person and feel her huge spirit.  This time is so special.  Don't let anyone take it away from you and make sure you get to enjoy it by having help.  I don't mean that no one can hold the baby, feed the baby, or take a turn at night with the baby.  I just mean, that it is not the purpose of them being there to help you.  They do everything else while you take care of you and your baby.  OK?

3. Take it easy.  Relax.  Take naps.  Sit on the couch amid the messes and watch the children play.  If you feel some energy and motivation do a chore or two.  But if you start feeling tired in the middle of a sink of dishes just leave the sink half done.  If you feel tired after vacuuming one room, turn off the vacuum and leave the other rooms for later.  If you start feeling tired after collecting all the laundry just leave it in the basket and start the load later.  Get what I'm saying?  Don't push yourself, take it easy.  If you start feeling guilty or you hear someone whisper in your ear that your being a wimp, you just whisper right back to that little devil, with a smile on your lips, "I just had a baby.  I was pregnant for 10 months, and just HAD A BABY.  I am going to go rest."  No reason to feel guilty and nope, you are not a wimp, you are strong!  LOOK WHAT YOU JUST DID!

4. Take time for leisure.  Take a bath.  Read a book.  Meditate.  Take a walk.  Bake a dessert.  Make out with your man.  Get a massage.  Paint your nails.  Take time to do something you enjoy.

5.  Exercise.  Once you have been given the 'OK' from your doc/midwife, get out and work that body. Try for 3 times a week, but TAKE IT SLOW.  I don't care if you've only been on that treadmill for 5 minutes, if you're starting to suck air and your legs hurt go 1 or 2 more minutes and then call it a day.  Then the next time you get on the treadmill, when you start feeling those legs burn go 2-3 more minutes then call it a day.  Ease into it.  Do not push yourself too hard too fast.  And if you are on that treadmill and all of the sudden hear, "You're a wimp.", you just smile and say, "I'm a freaking BEAST! I just gave birth and here I am at the gym!  GO ME!"  Seriously though, exercise is really important to heal after pregnancy and birth physically and emotionally.  Make it a priority but just go easy on yourself.

5 1/2. Have sex.  Have sex when YOU want to.  Not when it's been 6 weeks, cause it's been 6 weeks or cause your man thinks he's gonna die.  Sex is awesome.  It's an amazing way to de-stress, connect with your man, have fun, feel like a woman and not just a mama, etc.  But it can feel like a chore and actually be stressful for a new mama if you are feeling guilted into it.  Have sex, lots of sex, yay for sex, sex, sex - BUT - when you are ready.

6. Take time away from your kids.  Trust me, this one is important.  Make sure you get some time each week away from your kids.  Go to the store by yourself, go to the gym, go out to lunch with a friend, go to a movie, send the children to someone else's house, go for a drive, go for a walk, walk around the library.  Go and be without your kids.  They will miss you and you will miss them but it will be better for everyone if you do this.

7. Love your body.  Your body is amazing.  Look at what it just did.  It may look a little lot different than before but it is beautiful.  If you appreciate your body and show it gratitude by eating healthy and exercising regularly it will take care of you.  It's OK to want to get back into your skinny jeans and tone up and slim down but don't rush it.  You were pregnant for the good part of a year so give yourself a good year to get yourself back in shape.  Give yourself time and be kind to yourself.  This is especially important if you are breastfeeding.  You don't want to lose your milk, so don't start dieting right away, just eat healthy food and healthy portions.  Try this: think of your body as a temple.  Every time I go to the gym I say a prayer and thank God for my body, this holy temple that houses my spirit, and I ask Him to consecrate my time in the gym to bless my body.  I don't go to burn calories I go in gratitude for this sacred gift.  Try it, it really helps.

8.  Have people to talk to.  Your children are beautiful and wonderful but they don't really understand you and their conversational skills are lacking...  It really helps to have people to talk to.  It helps even more to have people who are sensitive to and understanding of the postpartum time and who will be supportive of you and help you keep a positive outlook when mothering seems hard.

9. Get help.  If you feel sad, if you feel guilty, if you feel nothing, if you feel hopeless, if you feel angry, and out of control, if you feel anxiety and no motivation - GET HELP.  I felt those things for so long and just thought I was a bad person.  I just thought things were hard because my baby cried all of the time.  I didn't think I deserved help because of the way I felt.  I didn't understand that my hormones were all jacked up.  I didn't understand that I was sick and I needed help.  Please do not feel guilty if you have any of these feelings.  You are not a bad person.  You are not a bad mother.  You are just sick, and sick people need taking care of.  And please don't judge yourself for being sick.  You didn't get this way because of something you did.  Postpartum depression can happen to any woman and it happens A LOT.  80% of women suffer from depression during pregnancy and/or postpartum.  You are NOT alone and this is NOT your fault.

7.17.2013

Lemma, My Angel

My little Lemma was born two months ago.  Since she was born I have meditated every single day on the blessing she has been to our family.  She saved me.  She saved our whole family.

I was in such a dark place after I had Henrik that I was absolutely terrified to get pregnant.  I made sure we were using multiple forms of birth control to make absolutely certain that I would not get pregnant again.  I was drowning with the two children I had.  I wasn't happy.  I loved my children but I couldn't be happy.  My life was a never ending round of sadness, guilt and fear.  I wanted out of life.  I knew I was failing as a mother and that is the most painful thing in the world.  To be surrounded by the things you love most in the world -all day long- and know you are not enough and that you are failing them is torture.  Pure torture.  Having any more children was not an option.  Worst idea ever.  Scariest thing in the world.

I got pregnant with Lemma and I KNEW that it had to be God's will because we had made it pretty much impossible to get pregnant with her.  I also felt like God must be trying to kill me off because there was no way I could survive another pregnancy, birth and torture of failing yet another little innocent baby.  I was angry.  I was terrified.  I could not see how this could be a blessing to me AT ALL.  I just felt like God added another life sentence in hell.  Let me be clear, I never felt like my children were the reason for my hell.  They are the sweetest, most loving, most wonderful and special people on this planet.  It wasn't them.  It was me.

There was no hope.  No light, just a long dark tunnel of misery.  My previous post describes my depression and the things I was trying to overcome it.  HERE is the link to that story.

Even though I tried very hard, I could not overcome the fear of having another child.  For the first time in my life I wanted to stay pregnant for as long as possible.  I wasn't afraid of giving birth I was afraid of getting sicker during another postpartum and never getting out of the darkness I had been trapped in for so long.  I loved little Lemma inside of me, but I was so scared to meet her.  I just didn't know what would happen.

At some point during my pregnancy with her my husband gave me a priesthood blessing and blessed me that I would be healed and be perfectly healthy after having Lemma.  You'd think that would have comforted me, and it did at times, but my faith was very low.  I had been in such darkness I couldn't imagine a life with light.  I just couldn't believe He could heal me.

I started researching Placenta Encapsulation and felt SURE that I needed to try it.  I couldn't find one bad thing about it.  I searched for negative/bad results type stories and information but I couldn't find anything.  Now I'm not saying that it isn't out there, I'm just saying that in all of my research I could not find anything bad about taking placenta pills.  I knew this was something God wanted me to try.  I was excited to give it a try but I was very afraid that it wouldn't work for me (I just knew I'd be the first woman it didn't work for).

It came time for Lemma to come to earth (read her birth story HERE).  My body reacted to her birth in the same way as with my last.  My hormones went crazy.  I bled like crazy on and off, I had terrible dreams, anxiety attacks, fears, sadness, hopelessness.  I got my placenta pills on day two postpartum.  I started taking them right away and immediately my bleeding stopped, the nightmares stopped and I felt much more in control of my emotions.  ONE TIME I had an anxiety attack (we are talking, crying, shaking, FREAKING OUT - panic attack), took a placenta pill and with in minutes I was perfectly fine.  One time I forgot to take one of my pills at night and when I woke up in the morning I was DRENCHED in blood.  I had hemorrhaged in the night.  I never forgot a pill again.  Even though I knew the pills were working I was still afraid.  I was so afraid that it was just too good to be true.

I prayed and prayed for relief and for healing.  I knew I had been blessed with the gift of healing but I also knew that I needed faith in order to receive this gift.  I prayed steadily for the faith I needed to be healed for weeks.  Day after day I asked God to help me to be able to hope in Christ that He could really truly heal me from all the pains I had been experiencing for so long.

One day I was reading my scriptures about faith and through the spirit felt directed to stop where I was and meditate on the things I had read.  I obeyed.  I felt a physical presence enter my body and I knew in that moment I had acquired the faith I needed to be healed.  Since that day I have only gotten better and better and better.  I am weaning myself off of the placenta pills and doing great.  I have never in my life been this happy and healthy.  I can't believe that I have this much energy and motivation.  I get more done with three children than I ever did with NO children.  The change that has taken place in me is nothing short of a miracle.

I wanted to share these very personal things with everyone for one reason and that is to give glory to the One responsible for healing me.  I just KNEW that having another baby was the worst possible thing that could have happened to me. God knew that I would never choose to get pregnant again which meant I would have suffered so much longer than I did.  But God loves me and He knew that I needed this baby (and our placenta) in order for my body to heal.  I thought I could never hope again.  God knew He could restore me to a happy life filled with faith and love through His Son Jesus Christ.  He knew just how to heal me and even though it wasn't easy and for the most part - very painful, it was so worth it!  I would do it all again a million times over if it meant that I could have my beautiful Lemma girl with me forever.  She has the sweetest, kindest and bravest spirit I've ever felt.  

I know that before Lemma was born, she was asked to do a great work.  God asked her to be born to a very sick mother.  Her very first assignment in life would be to be the instrument Christ would use to heal me and therefore save our family.  I know that before she was born she knew what she was being asked to do and being filled with love and courage she accepted the assignment full of faith that Christ would not fail her.

Lemma saved me.  This sweet little baby saved my life.  I really believe that it was her faith in Jesus Christ that gave me what I needed to turn to Him.  I am a witness of His power, His Grace, His love and His infinite atonement.  He is the Savior.  He is my Savior.  He is your Savior.  He is the greatest of all.  There is nothing He can't do and there is NO ONE He can't save.

3.28.2013

MIA

With Easter just a few days away I've been reflecting on where I've been this past year.

MIA.

Broken.  I've been thinking a lot about broken things.

I mean really broken.  Shattered.  Seemingly irreparable things.  I've been thinking about how they can be made whole.

I've been MIA.  It's not just the blogs I've neglected.  It's everything.  I've decided it's OK to talk about it now.  Now that I have more understanding.

I had a baby last year, remember?  It was miraculous.  Changed me forever and ever.  I was on cloud nine with my newborn baby and the memories of our experience during his birth.  Then....

Wham BAM.  Postpartum Depression.

I described my symptoms to my midwife and although she never said the words "postpartum depression" she did describe a problem my body was having balancing my hormones and she helped me with herbs and things to get my hormones under control and actually they helped quite a bit.  I stopped having terrible nightmares every time I closed my eyes, I finally stopped bleeding and I stopped having anxiety attacks as the most irrational fears would pop into my mind.

I thought I was better.

I wasn't.  I was getting by, but I wasn't even close to better.  The baby started crying and never stopped and the stress of transitioning to two kids was building up inside of me and I didn't even realize it.  Then....

WHAM BAM BAM!!!!  I got pregnant.

Here I am with messed up hormones, a baby who never stops crying, a 3 year old who never stops talking, now with pregnancy hormones that are competing with nursing hormones....and it seemed to me like my life was over.

I had no idea what was happening to me.  I was overwhelmed with trying to find answers to all the questions.

Should we move?  Where?  How can we afford it? Where is the money going to come from? We need a new car.  Where are we going to find the money for that? OK, so we aren't moving, so how are we going to fit another person in this tiny apartment? The apartment.  It's a disaster.  I can't keep up.  I'm a disaster.  I'm failing....failing everyday.  I can't take care of my home, I can't take care of my kids.  I'm drowning.  I can't keep my head above water.  I'm dying.  I'm going to die.  It's for the best.  They'd be better off with someone else.  Someone who is not broken and weak and failing miserably at life.

Say hello to meltdown #1.

In a rage of tears like none other I spilled every emotion to my husband.  I told him everything I was feeling and thinking and felt even crazier listening to myself.  It didn't help to see fear in his eyes as he listened to what I was saying.  Honestly, the only that kept me from leaving him and the kids was the fact that, I'm still pregnant (can't run away from that) and no matter what I'd still have to be a mom.

Burgess knew something was really very wrong but neither of us knew what to call it we just knew that I was crazy and not myself.

Meltdown #2.

I was telling Burgess in another fit of uncontrollable tears that I had lost all faith in God, had no hope and honestly didn't care about the gospel anymore.  I told him that I couldn't pray and that NO, I didn't want a blessing because I really believed that IF God really did exist He had proven that He didn't care about me this past year.  As these words were uncontrollably spilling out of my mouth it was as if I was watching it happen.  I stood outside myself and realized what was going on.  It was like someone just turned on the light and I could see the words so clearly for the first time.  DEPRESSED.  I was depressed.  Very depressed.  I had had no idea for an entire year that I was extremely, completely, utterly depressed.

After this realization Burgess and I made a plan.  This plan involved vitamins, minerals and herbs.  Regular exercise.  Having Burgess and a few choice friends on call for help if I felt like another meltdown was coming on.  I asked to be released from my calling at church and gave up everything outside of the home (other than teaching Freddy's preschool class twice a month).  I started seeing a chiropractor twice a week to work on the extreme pain that had developed in my back, hips and pelvis (did I mention I that by 20 weeks pregnant I couldn't walk/move with out extreme pain? Yeah...).  I forced myself to pray everyday even if it was just telling God how mad I was feeling at Him.  I also forced myself to read the Book of Mormon every single day and set a goal to finish it in 30 days.  And after a while I consented to a priesthood blessing.

It has been 3 months since I have been on my self prescribed (and midwife endorsed) system of all natural healthcare.  It has been a very slow and bumpy road.  It has been an extremely difficult path but one well worth taking.  I'm not running away from the pain anymore and I'm not neglecting myself anymore.  I'm no longer on the path to destruction and that my friends is a very happy thing.

The things that have been most helpful to me are spending lots of time in the sunshine, regular exercise and a clean apartment.  But the thing that made the biggest difference for me was reading the Book of Mormon every single day for 45 minutes to an hour for 30 days.  Little by little, but very quickly, I felt my faith and hope returning.  I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life during those hours of scripture study and felt my body and mind being healed from the inside out.  I felt cleansed and renewed during that time and I'll never be able to thank my Savior enough for the patience and love He showed me while I was in my darkest hour.

I am not better.  Sometimes I still have to call Burgess to come home.  Sometimes the crying, whining and constant nagging is just more than my injured mind can handle.  Sometimes I just don't know how I'll make it through to the end of the day but at least now I feel like I will.  I have hope for a better day, for a better me and I have faith that my Father in heaven and His son Jesus Christ are the ones that make it all possible.  I am not better.  But I am on the road to recovery.  I am still broken, but mending.  I am on my way to being made whole.

Completely whole.  I know that it is possible.  Broken things, shattered things, irreparable things...people...can be made whole.  Completely whole.  Not with out faith and not with out very hard work, but it is possible and I will keep trying.  I will find my way back.  The Savior has my hand and is leading me along and soon I won't be missing anymore.

8.29.2012

Morning Meditation

"Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.  Wherefore...pray unto the father with all energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love..."

Charity

In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask for charity.
Bless me with charity, the pure love of Christ.
Take from me unrighteous judgement.
Bless me with charity and love.
Fill me with gratitude and hope.
Bless me with charity and the light of Christ.
Grant me patience and understanding.
Bless me with charity.
Give to me kindness and peace.
Bless me with charity and faith.
Take from me confusion, distraction and worry.
Bless me with charity.
Take from me selfishness and fear of pain and discomfort.
Grant unto me the capacity to contain within me the pure love of Christ.
In the name of Jesus Christ, open my heart, cleanse my soul and grant unto me charity.

8.16.2012

About Amy, by her husband

I am not a blogger.  I was reading in my scriptures this morning and I came across a passage which led me to start writing.  The Book of Mormon, much like The Bible, is made up of a collection of books written by various prophets who lived before, during, and after Jesus Christ walked the Earth.  I was specifically reading in the Book of Helamen, chapter 15.  The time period is just before the birth of Christ.  Samuel is a prophet and he has gone to the top of a city wall to preach to the people, most of whom have gone astray from the was of the Lord.  He is calling them to repentance and relates a story from a previous year in which a group of people, in an act of sorrow and repentance for the blood they had shed, voluntarily buried their weapons in the ground and promised God they would never fight again.  This group of people was attacked by their enemies but never uncovered their swords.  Samuel's commentary on this situation was that they feared to sin and that they would rather be trodden down by their enemies than offend their Father in Heaven (Helamen 15:9).  Samuel calls each citizen to act in this way.

Amy embodies this faith.  She fears to sin.  She loves her Father in Heaven so much, and is so willing to follow the example of His Son, Jesus Christ, that any mistake causes her to lose sleep and she willfully repents.  She does not need to be compelled to be humble, she is humble.  The Savior himself said in the Sermon on the Mount, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  (Matthew 5:6). This is Amy, she is the example.  She is my example.  She has made choices in her life which have strengthened her testimony, strengthened her faith so much it radiates to everyone around her.  Her testimony brought and continues to bring a man like me closer to my Father in Heaven.

Amy asked me once before we were married if I loved her for who she was, and I responded of course I always will.  She then had a look of disappointment, which led to my confusion.  When I asked why she didn't like that answer she told me she loved me for who I can become.  Righteousness will always be rewarded, and each time we take a step toward Heaven it should be celebrated.  Though we cannot forget to continue to improve, continue to take those steps.  If we are not moving forward we are moving backwards.  Just writing that line, it looks like a daunting task.

For the righteous, for the committed, Life isn't easy, but Amy trusts in her Savior with EVERYTHING.   This is what will get us all through and bring about more happiness, than we can imagine, not just after this life but during it as well.  She is trying to teach me this principal of trusting in the Lord, putting ALL your burdens on the Lord because that is what he has asked us to do and he will show us how to overcome them.

Amy is one of the world's greatest teachers.  My faults have made her question this at times and I pray I can make up for that sin.  Further in the Sermon on the Mount the Savior talks about the Salt of the Earth, and candles that should not hide their light, this is Amy.  I know her better than anyone reading this blog, and every word I write is true.  I Love Her.

-Burgess


7.18.2012

Learning the Power in a Struggle

Over the past year or two the Lord has been trying to teach me a lesson on pain, struggle, hardship.  He's been trying to teach me to embrace it gracefully and thankfully and not run and hide.  It has been a challenging past couple of years but they have been some of the most rewarding of my life, Henrik's birth being the crowning event.  Now that I am starting to catch on to this principle a little easier it seems the Lord has added a fresh new twist.....letting my children struggle.

This is so much harder than letting myself struggle.  It is so hard for me to listen to my baby cry or watch Freddy really struggle with something.  I always tell myself, "oh he's just a baby" or  "can he really be expected to do that? He's only 3?"  I have been too helpful to my children and it is not helping them at all.

This afternoon Freddy asked me if he could please have some snacks.  He ate his entire breakfast with out a fuss AND ate a great lunch without me asking him to eat one bite, he's been cheerful and helpful to me all day and to his brother so I thought snacks would be OK.  I told him there was a box of goldfish on the table and that he could have some.  He found the box just fine but when it came time to opening said box he just looked at it and said, "Mama, can you open it please."  Something immediately stopped me and told me to let him figure out how to open the box on his own.  I told him that he was very smart and very strong and so I was going to let him open the box all by himself and went back to the dishes.  He barely tried to open the box for half a second and came back and said he couldn't do it and would I please help him.  We did this back and forth thing for about half and hour, I was always supportive and cheerful and he was getting more and more frustrated.  I finally asked him if he thought it would be a good idea to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help him know how to open the box all by himself.  He sat there for a few minutes just quiet and looking at me like I have lost my mind.  I finally sat with him and explained that whenever I need help and don't know what to do I just pray and ask Heavenly Father for help and He always hears me and that we can do ANYTHING when Heavenly Father is helping us.  He folded his arms and said, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank thee for this day (of course) please help Freddy, I can open this box all by myself."  Then he took the box and with one finger tried to open it and to my SHOCK the box practically sprang open!  He said, "Oh thank you Heavenly Father!" and promptly dug right into those cheddar crackers.

I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father heard his prayers and helped him.  I'm grateful for the prompting to let him have this struggle so that he could learn and his faith could grow.  Now I think I should go and pray to know how to let my children struggle a little more often.

5.27.2012

Grandma Morgan

My Grandmother is dying.  She has been dying for years so this news is not new to me and honestly I expected that when the time came I wouldn't be too emotional about it...that I'd just be so glad she was finally free from this earthly trial.

Well the time has come.  I don't think she will make it through the night.  I actually didn't expect her to still be here when I got up this morning.  I was wrong about not being emotional about it.  I am very emotional about it.

Mostly, my emotion comes from a deep sense of love, respect and gratitude over her life.  She has been one of the most faithful women I have ever known.  She emigrated from Sweden as a young woman because she knew it would be her best chance of marrying in the temple.  She lived her whole life to be worthy of the temple and had such faith in the covenants that are made there.  She wanted all of her family to enjoy these temple blessings and to really truly understand them and respect them.

One of my favorite memories of my grandmother is a sleepover she hosted for all of her granddaughters.  I remember being so excited to have a special sleepover with all of my cousins and when we all got into our pajamas I remember my grandmother coming down the stairs and joining us in red sik pajamas.  I remember thinking how beautiful those pajamas were and how I wanted to be like my grandmother.  She gathered all of us together and spoke of the temple and how she wanted all of us to  have the opportunity to be married in the temple some day.  She talked about being prepared to go to the temple and to make sure we were modest in our dress.  She hoped that we would all wear beautiful wedding dresses with long sleeves so that we wouldn't have to have our dresses altered in any way when we went in to be married.  She told us about how when she was married she didn't know anything about the temple and bought a dress that was modest but needed long sleeves to be added to it when she went in to be married and how she had wished she had had something that would have been temple ready.  I remember looking at magazine pages of beautiful gowns all with long sleeves and high neck lines and dreaming about being married in one of those beautiful white dresses.  I promised her that I would be married in a dress that would be ready for the temple, needing no alterations.  When the time came and I went to go pick out a wedding dress of my own I set out to find a dress with long sleeves that was perfectly temple ready.  We found a beautiful dress, one that I knew my grandmother would have just LOVED.  We added full length sleeves to the dress and it was absolutely perfect.  It felt wonderful to be in the temple and not need any adjustments made.  I remember one of the temple workers helping me and when I had the dress on, looking at me and telling me just how beautiful I was in my perfectly temple ready dress and I felt like it is what my grandmother would have told me had she been able to come.


The dress inspired by my grandmother.

My grandmother was a great example of service.  Being the wife of a leader in the church, a faithful visiting teacher and a missionary, her life was spent giving and serving others.  She was always looking to give and something that goes through my mind regularly is something she always used to say, "you can't give yourself poor".  I thought of this just today as the bishop in our ward expressed a need in our ward to send missionaries out on their missions and asked for help from the members to give to the ward missionary fund.  I sat there crying because I knew that I didn't have even $5 to give to the bishop to help send our wards worthy young men out on their missions.  I can have ALWAYS been able to find a couple of dollars here or there to give but not this month.  Then something came to mind and I knew that we did have something that we could give.  We came home and were preparing our donation and those words came into my mind, "you can't give yourself poor."  I am so grateful for her example of charity and generosity, it gives me strength in times like this.

My grandmother also felt it was important to teach all of her family about honesty and often told the story of my great grandfather who would not accept more money than his car was worth even when it was offered to him.  This was during the depression when times we very tough, but money was not as important as his integrity.  I have always remembered this story and tried to be honest in all my dealings and often tell myself that NOTHING is worth giving up my integrity.

One last memory I want to preserve is my grandmothers love of music.  She loved to hear me sing and at one time even sent some money to my mother so that I could have a few voice lessons.  I was so humbled by that and felt so loved.  

I love my Grandma Morgan so much.  I will teach my children about the importance of the temple, of the blessings of service and giving, of being honest, loving and kind using her great example.  I owe so much of my faith in Christ to her.  She raised my mother to have faith in Christ and to serve Him and that is how my mother raised me.  I hope that I can do the same for my children.


This is how I remember my Grandma.

  I am amazed by her faith.  I am encouraged by her love of the Lord and His gospel.  I am inspired by her goodness.  I am humbled by her dedication to her family.  One day I hope to leave a legacy such as hers behind for my children and grandchildren.

5.01.2012

Henrik's Birth Video = My drug of choice

I finally got my husband to finish Henrik's birth video and post it to YouTube so that I can watch it whenever I want (and now that it is posted we realized some glitches that need to be fixed - oh well).  Well, I have watched it about one-hundred-and-twenty-bazillion times since Burgess posted it two days ago.

It fills me with so much love and joy and reminds me of all the wonderful things I have learned since his birth.  Even though I remember the pain and exhaustion I was enduring to bring him here safely it gets me so excited to do it again.

I guess I just love watching peaceful, loving, gentle births.  I watched so many birth videos while I was pregnant to inspire me and keep me motivated to do this thing (natural birth) that scared the bajeezes out of me and now I have my own to watch.  Am I the only one?

I have had a couple of people express the wish to watch the video.  It is posted to YouTube but the video is private.  It is such a sacred thing and such a special thing, not to mention a private thing (uh - say hello to the world vagina), that I hesitate to let just anyone and their mom, husband, cousin, neighbor, hairdresser, visiting teacher, best friend, acquaintance (etc.), watch it, but if you are reading this and would like to watch it leave me a comment with your email address.  If I feel good about it and you promise not to show it to your whole neighborhood I'll send you an invite so you can view it.  But you also have to promise to still be my friend after seeing me in all my naked-birthing glory.  K?

4.05.2012

Morning Meditation

I am good.
I am beautiful.
I am peaceful.
I am loving.
I am patient.
I am kind.

Father grant me charity.
Bless me with opportunities to cultivate it.

I am good.
I am beautiful.
I am peaceful.
I am loving.
I am patient.
I am kind.

Father grant me thy spirit to direct me throughout this day as a
wife,
mother,
visiting teacher,
daughter,
sister,
friend
and christian.

Help me Father to see that I am
good.
Beautiful.
Peaceful.
Loving.
Patient.
Kind.

3.19.2012

My Most Priceless Possession

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately. I went to the temple about a week and a half ago and received personal instruction about marriage while in the session and then a few days later someone said something to me that sparked an evaluation of my feelings about marriage. And now I'm going to write them down :)

My marriage is my most priceless possession. It is. It's not the diamond in my wedding ring that was passed on from Burgess' mothers wedding ring. It is not even my children. It is the covenant I made with my husband and with God. Sometimes it is easy to forget this but it is true and it is so important for me to remember it.

Recently I have made a point to actively treat my marriage as if it is a rare, precious and priceless possession. One that is fragile and irreplaceable. I don't view my relationship with Burgess as fragile, in fact I believe it is very strong, but I don't ever want to take it for granted and become a lazy partner in my marriage. Looking back on our 4 years together I feel I may be guilty of that at times and it scares me how easy it is to do. It scares me how quickly marriages fail...how a once happy, loving couple can become so unhappy and so unfriendly that thing will never heal between them.

I try hard to remember that it's just him and me against the world - literally. I try to consider us as if we were Adam and Eve - recently banished from the Garden of Eden. Think of it. If they did not make things work between them there would be no one else. There was no other option. It was Adam or no one for Eve. I think if more people approached their marriage with that attitude then they would try much harder to protect and preserve the bond that they have. It's this marriage or no marriage. It's this guy or loneliness. It's this love or no love at all. It sounds a little harsh and many people might disagree with me but in the world we live in I feel like this approach to marriage is best. Of course things happen and marriages sometimes fail and that's okay but how many could be saved if a man and woman who have promised their lives to one another treated that promise as if their actual life depended on keeping it?

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be married. To have someone by my side through this life. To never be alone in my daily struggles. I am such so lucky to have a man who is wonderful and true to me, I just want to be something special for him.

3.17.2012

No amount of money is more valuable


The other day Freddy insisted he did not need to take nap. 5:30 rolls around and he is dead to the world...no amount of coaxing can snap him out of the deep sleep. Finally I am able to revive him a little after 7pm. By this time of course, any hope of him going to bed at all is gone. Burgess arrives home from work a little after 9pm. I tell him Freddy needs to play really hard if we want any sleep tonight. After a short while of jumping on the bed Freddy gets bored so Burgess decides to take him to the grocery store that is open late and let him run up and down every isle...I think that is a great idea.

Peace and quiet.

A while later I hear them making their way back into the building and up the stairs to the door of our apartment. There is a short pause and then slowly the door opens and my three year old walks in, head held high, proudly presenting me with a bouquet of flowers. I am so surprised that I barely have to exaggerate my reaction for Freddy's benefit. I scoop him up and tell him I love the flowers and thank him over and over and shower him with kisses and hugs. Then we sit and talk about the flowers. Their colors and their leaves and Freddy reminds me that these are NOT for eating. Then we take turns smelling them and comment on how beautiful the flowers smell to us. We are having a great time but I can't help but want to shower my husband with kisses and hugs as well.

No matter whose idea it was to bring home flowers for mama I know that Burgess is responsible. Freddy has seen him bring home flowers for me countless times since he was born. He has seen Burgess fill the house with flowers for me...scattering them throughout the house or putting a small but beautiful bouquet in each room. Freddy sees his dad kiss me right before he leaves and first thing when he comes home. He witnesses his dad rub my back, help me with chores and listen to me go on and on about this and that. Freddy is learning each and every day how to be the perfect husband for some girl just as his dad is the perfect husband to me.

I'm sure Burgess questioned buying those flowers. It's not a special occasion and we surely are NOT made of money...we question even buying things that we really need. But I'm so glad Burgess didn't listen to the logic in his brain telling him we can't afford to buy flowers. The lesson is far more valuable than the money we would have saved.

Thank you Burgess for not only being the perfect husband....but the perfect father. I love you.

2.12.2012

Dear baby

Dear baby,


I wonder,

When you become heavy with sleep on my chest can you hear my heart beating?
Can you feel that it beats deep and strong for you?

I wonder dear sweet baby,
When I kiss your beautiful face if you can feel my breath?
Can you feel how passionately I breath for you?

My baby, I wonder,
When I hold you and look into your eyes can you see your reflection?
Can you feel how special I know you are?

I wonder my baby,
When I think about how much I love you does your heart stir with warmth?
I want to know baby...can you feel me loving you?

I hope you can.

Mama.

2.02.2012

Never Felt So Alive

I haven't felt so alive in SO LONG (way too long)!

I got dressed today. I did my hair and put on some make up and everything!
I cleaned my whole house. I did laundry and folded it and put it away too!
Even though I was tired I turned off the T.V. and searched for "clues" with Freddy and did a little project with him as well.
I fed my family dinner and did the dishes
I made a meal plan for the coming week and a grocery list.
I got to rock BOTH of my boys to sleep and hold them and snuggle them and love love love them.
Now I'm about to snuggle up with my love to watch one of the movies on our list of non-rated R Oscar nominated movies.

It just feels so good to be able to move and to feel motivation...to accomplish something...to serve.

I didn't sleep very well last night. The baby didn't sleep great and my husband was going crazy in his sleep last night and so between the two of them I got up this morning and felt like I wouldn't be able to make it through the day. I told myself, "this will be the day you just turn on the T.V. and let Freddy do whatever he wants. You just take care of the baby and try to get in some sleep whenever he sleeps."

I did turn on the T.V. for Freddy and gave him dry cereal with a cup of milk for breakfast. The baby was fed and happy so I just decided to do one thing. The one thing I have been wanting to be done for days and days....pick up my room. I decided that if I did just that one thing then I really wouldn't have to feel guilty about doing anything else on a day that I was oh so tired. So I picked up my room. I put away clothes and made my bed and even reorganized my drawers. Aaaahhh....it felt so good. So I just kept going and kept going. Every time I accomplished something more it was that much more energizing. I couldn't believe myself as I was mopping my kitchen floor! Oh my goodness! The joy that filled me as I vacuumed out my couch!

I realize that it is sad that doing normal motherly/wifely duties can make me feel so wonderful but things have been so incredibly rough this past year. I haven't been able to have days like this....normal days, for almost a year. I remember when I was "fine" having days where I was so bored by my life that I felt so annoyed at doing the dishes, at having to vacuum......making dinner...again....blah.

I know I'll probably have days like that again but today I am so grateful to feel alive and well. I hope I have many more of these days much more often.

2.01.2012

Sealing Us Closer Together

I've been wanting to write about this for a little while now, but I haven't because I just haven't been able to come up with the right words.....

But I've got dinner made, house is clean, boys are both asleep and the laundry I was suppose to be folding now needs another turn in the dryer so I just decided to start writing while I have opportunity and maybe the right words will find their way.

Henrik's birth was an amazing experience for me in so many ways. I have never felt so close to my Father in heaven. I couldn't have imagined the spiritually enlightening experience it would be to be so connected to my body. The euphoria the overtook me as I birthed my sweet little baby boy was amazing. But what I wanted to document is the bond that Henrik's birth brought to my husband and I.

I have never felt more grateful for him. I have never felt so in love with him. I have never felt so connected to him. I have never seen him with these eyes. Henrik's birth changed me and somehow changed us. It is like the sealing that we entered into 4 years ago was renewed and strengthened because of our choice to bring our baby into this world in the loving home that we have worked so hard to create.

As I labored with Henrik I felt Heavenly father make His holy presence known at a very specific time. I'll never forget that moment. I'll never forget the moment I held Henrik for the first time, or the first time we got to introduce Freddy to his little brother. But the blessing that Burgess and I have received in our marriage has come in so many little, seemingly small moments.

It's in all those moments I was so sick and tired during the pregnancy that Burgess took over so many of my responsibilities on himself.

It's in the moments I was feeling sad and depressed that he held me and reassured me.

It's in all those moments that I could feel how much he loves me with out him saying anything at all.

It's in moment that I started pushing Henrik out. I was scared for the first time and he was all of the sudden right by my side and telling me everything I needed to hear.

It was when he burst into tears as he saw our newest son for the first time.

It's in all the nights that he wakes up with Henrik and Freddy in the night to do the feedings, to change the diapers, to do the rocking, to say the prayers over hurting knees or bad dreams.

It's in all those moments he prays over our family and makes sure to start the prayer by taking my hand and end the prayer by giving me a kiss.

It's in all these small and simple moments that we have been sealed closer together. I realize now that we can renew our promises to each other every single time we take the time and we take the love in our hearts to do all of these little things.

I am so grateful for a husband to honestly loves, who willingly serves and who is so completely devoted to his family.

I can't believe God gave him to me.

1.13.2012

Starting to sink in....

I am sitting here in my unusually quiet apartment reliving what I did just days ago. I am in awe of the experience and can't feel more grateful that my Father and Mother in heaven wanted me to have such a gift in my life.

Giving birth naturally was probably my greatest fear. I never thought I would be able to do it. I prayed and prayed for weeks before the birth for the strength to accomplish this goal so that my baby could have the birth I knew was so important for him. One day, while meditating, just a day or two before Henrik was born, I received the distinct impression in my mind that I already had the strength I would need. The exact words that I felt in my heart were, "You already possess the strength of the pioneers." I couldn't believe it, yet I knew it must be true. I stopped praying for strength and started focusing all my energy of peace, faith and charity.

I have known for so long that having our baby naturally and at home was not something I had to do, but something that Heavenly Father had invited me to do. He was offering me a gift of knowledge and experience that would help me throughout my life if I wanted to accept it. I couldn't turn that down no matter how great my fear was. I accepted and for months expected the Lord to teach me marvelous things as I labored and finally gave birth. This was not the case. As I was in the midst of labor I was so tired after days of labor and months of little sleep. I was emotionally drained and I needed my Father in heaven so much. Looking out the window and seeing the snow softly falling, coating everything in the purest white I was filled with the love of my Eternal Father. I knew that snow was meant just for me and no one else. I knew in that moment that Father was with me and my baby and that He would see us through.

As I sit here in quiet remembrance of the sacred event that took place in this very room I am overcome with emotion and realize that there is much the Lord wants me to learn from this experience but it was not meant to come all at once. I know that this experience will be very similar to that of my mission, I can learn from it every single day for the rest of my life...if I let it teach me.

How wonderful is the great Plan of Salvation! How sweet and kind is the Lords great plan for us. How marvelous to be on His errand and doing His work. How precious to be given these two special boys who will grow to be men of the Holy Priesthood, enlisted to defend truth and righteousness and the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is all starting to sink in. I have never felt this depth of gratitude. I have never been so blessed.

1.10.2012

Another Boy

I'm starting my fourth day as a mother of two. So far, so good....and weird.

I didn't really know how it would feel to all of the sudden have two children. Honestly, it's wonderful but so strange. Freddy is still my Freddy boy and I love him so much but now I have another boy.

I have another special and sweet tiny little baby to take care of, love and get to know.

It has been so fun to see Freddy take on the role as big brother.

It has been so tender to see my husband take on the responsibility of another child.

It has been an honor to birth, nourish and nurture my newest boy while continuing to love, teach and nurture my big boy.

1.09.2012

Henrik's Birth Story


Click below to read all about it

Henrik's Birth Story

12.29.2011

Best Decision I Ever Made


Four years ago today, I made the most important and best decision of my life.
I married my best friend.
I married a man not only completely devoted to me but also to the Lord.
He has proved to be an equally devoted father.

I couldn't ask for anything more in my partner.

I love you Burgess, more today than ever before. You are my greatest gift. I'm thanking God for you today.

12.16.2011

Season of Giving

I love the Christmas season because I LOVE LOVE LOVE giving lots of gifts to friends and family. Usually, I am planning and making lists very early on. I love the shopping and the baking or sweets and I just LOVE the giving of holly jolly goodness.

This year unfortunately we have had some major financial struggles. We were able to get one gift for Freddy and that's it (I'm so grateful we were able to do that much!). We had to ask to be taken off the annual family Christmas gift name exchange list. Even worse than that we haven't had any money even for food (luckily we were accepted onto the WIC program and have a food storage built up).

We have cut corners in every possible place and the math still isn't adding up. It's a little bit unsettling considering we are due to have a baby any day now. We have been a little stressed out around here, but we have been trying to keep positive and keep the faith.

Even though I have felt like we haven't been able to do much giving this season I have been blessed with a few opportunities to give and I am so grateful for that. One of those times came when a new friend of ours texted me one day and asked if I could bring her family dinner that night. I knew that I couldn't afford to go to the store and buy anything and I also knew that I was using the only food I had to feed my own family from but I was so happy to have had enough food in the pantry to share with a family that needed help. I always try to remember what my grandmother used to say, "You can't give yourself poor." I totally and completely believe this to be true and pray for more opportunities like this every day.

We have also been on the receiving end a lot this season and we have been very humbled by the love that has been expressed to us. We have received a lot of help from both of our parents. We have had some car troubles they have helped with and they have been very generous to share with us when we have run out of certain basics - even filling up our car with gas.

Burgess came home from work today and brought in a package of butter. No note was left. Just the butter. I am almost out and have been worried because a lot of the meals I had planned called for butter and I knew what I had wasn't going to last.

Some "Secret Santa" has chosen our family for a "12 Days of Christmas" gifting. Guess what they chose to give our family? A little nativity scene. Not just any little nativity but a little wooden set similar to the one that I grew up loving as a kid. I know this idea is not new to many people. I have heard of this idea before and always thought it would be a fun thing to do. The thing is, I collect nativity sets. Burgess gets one for me every year...except this year he couldn't. I have been wanting a little wooden set for a very long time now, one that I could share and enjoy with my little kids as they grow and learn the story of Christ's birth. I am so humbled by this gift especially because we are new here. We don't know very many people in our neighborhood or even our ward yet. No one could know of my love of nativities (I keep them up year round). I haven't even told anyone that I'd been wanting a little wooden set. Whoever has chosen to give us this gift must have been completely inspired of the Lord. They will never know the gift of faith and love that they have given to me and my family by giving us this little Nativity set, one piece at a time.


What a wonderful season this has been. At first I was so sad thinking this Christmas would be so depressing not being able to spend it the way we normally do, buying and making and giving lots of presents to the people we love. Instead we have received a deeper understanding of what this season of giving is really about.

My Wish

My Christmas wish this year is that someday I will have the means to do something like THIS.

11.25.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 24 (and just for fun - Day 25)

YESTERDAY (and today) on Thanksgiving 24 November 2011, I was (am) grateful for my little family. The holidays are so much more special now that I have a family of my own. I am grateful for the husband I chose and I am reminded every single day that I not only made the right choice but that I could NOT have done any better than him. I am so grateful for the children I have been blessed with. Freddy is my joy and my life and I will be eternally grateful for what he has given me. I can already feel what a special little guy Henrik is. I know he has a very sweet little spirit because I can feel it every day.

I am also extremely grateful for my Heavenly Family. I am grateful for my Father, Mother and Brother Jesus Christ who have a plan for me and my family. I could not be more grateful for the personal relationship that I have developed with each of them and cannot wait for the day when I can stand before them (physically) and thank them for everything they have given me and my little family.

And today, 25 November 2011, I am grateful for leftover apple pie, Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas lights, and Christmas trees!!!! All of which will be a part of my day today.

11.23.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 23

This 23 November 2011 morning, I am so grateful for our Coffield Family Home Mornings. Burgess is not home on very many evenings and so as not to forget to hold such family strengthening meetings we have our weekly FHE's in the am. This morning was a particularly spiritual and wonderful one. It was kind of a surprise.

I was sitting on the couch and though, "oh we haven't done FHM this week and it's WEDNESDAY!" I asked Burgess if he would like me to prepare something, he gratefully invited me to do so. I thoughtfully, but kind of hurriedly put something together and we all gathered on the couch and sang a hymn, said a prayer and discussed the principles of the gospel that apply to our family situation at present. I felt a little like a young missionary again, feeling the spirit but not knowing exactly how to express what it was I wanted to convey. But apparently everyone was feeling the same spirit because just as the lesson was ending Freddy looked up at me (I noticed his arms were folded) and he said, "Mama, I LOVE JESUS CHRIST!" It came as such a surprise because during the lesson Jesus was never mentioned by name. He wasn't repeating something he had heard, he was expressing a truth he really felt in his heart.

Burgess and I both embraced our sweet son and cried. We all snuggled and told each other how much we love each other and then Freddy said, "We a happy FAMILY!.....SING IT MAMA!" We closed with a prayer and then snuggled and sang songs and played and ate breakfast all together. What a wonderful morning it has been.

I am so grateful for the commandment to take this very special time as families and I am grateful for the spirit that attends our meetings and touches all of our hearts....especially the really little ones.

11.22.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 22

After a painful nights sleep, on this 24 November 2011, I am grateful to be pregnant.

This has not been a particularly fun pregnancy and as usual the more pregnant I get the more painful it becomes. I find myself dreading sleep because it is just so painful to lay there on my hips and no number of pillows makes a real difference. I have constant heartburn and feel like I am suffocating half of the day. I am exhausted all the time and feel guilty for not getting out and doing more with my Freddy boy.

With that said, I am still so grateful to be pregnant. This pregnancy did not come easy. I wanted this baby for so long and now that I finally have him warm and safe and wiggling inside of me I *almost* never want this pregnancy to end. Despite my aching back, the stinging in my hips, the heartburn (OH THE HEARTBURN), the sleepless nights and complete lack of energy, and all the contractions.....I am so happy to be pregnant. I am so thankful to be able to create this life, carry him and give birth to him in the coming weeks. I am eternally grateful to be the mother of this child.

Today, I am very grateful to be pregnant.

11.21.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 21

I am grateful for my husband who helped me get the house put back together today. I am grateful that since I had help with the chores I still had energy to work on the baby's quilt a little bit more today. I am grateful for a visiting teacher who comes and chats and listens and shares a thoughtful message with out seeming rushed or inconvenienced by our visit. I am grateful that Freddy got to pay with her two little kids (even though he was super tired and grouchy and not being the nicest Freddy boy in the world) while we visited. I am grateful for the snuggle I had with Freddy while we shared lunch and that he is finally resting peacefully. Back to the Henrik's quilt :)

11.20.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 20

Sunday, 20 November 2011, I am so thankful for uplifting and spirit driven lessons during church meetings. I am so grateful to feel so at home in our new ward. I am grateful for the peace and comfort that we have received as we have settled into our new home. It is so nice to KNOW that we are where the Lord wanted us to be.

11.19.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 19

I am grateful today, 19 November 2011, that I woke up early and went to choir practice. That my dad called and invited Freddy and I over for breakfast and that when I went to get the mail I found a paycheck I wasn't expecting there. I am also grateful for my husband who unloaded the dishwasher before he went to work this morning AFTER he had already been up for a few hours working. If there is ever a time he is not working he is serving someone in his family. He is my hero.

11.18.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 18

On this kind of gloomy 18 November 2011 I am grateful for a husband that very willingly and very carefully will trim my toenails because I can't really reach them anymore. I am grateful for a husband who will shuck clams and clean shrimp perfectly - like Gordon Ramsey style. I am grateful for a little boy who says, "Mama, I need a snuggle you..." and "I need a tissue for my HUGE BUGGA..." And also carries around a cookie monster doll wrapped in a blanket and very lovingly places him in the baby swing to sleep and then commands me to "SSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!! Cookie Monster is SLEEPING!"

11.17.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 17

I am grateful on 17 November 2011 that I have a temple right up the street.

11.16.2011

Just me and my Freddy boy

Freddy has been so fun lately. I don't think it's because he recently changed in some way...I think it's because I've been changing.

The last 6 months have been so very challenging and stressful. This pregnancy has not been easy on me physically or emotionally. The stress of moving took its toll as well and I feel like I have been on the brink of depression for way too long. I'm so sad that Freddy had to live with a mother like that for so long. He is such a wonderful child and I always feel so guilty when I'm not just as perfect as he is (which means I feel like that pretty much ALWAYS).

Anyway, since we have moved and settled into a new home and environment I feel like I have finally been able to relax again. I have a midwife I totally trust and I'm feeling completely confident about the homebirth we are planning for Henrik. I feel like I can finally breath again (which is funny because physically I canNOT breath and my constant heartburn is suffocating me!)....Since things have settled down, I have been shocked at how much fun Freddy and I are having each day. Even though we are inside most of the time and I am still trying to rest as much as I can we are having a blast!

We play blocks and build super high towers and then knock them over and laugh and laugh. We talk about how much daddy is going to LOVE our "HUGE" tower, even though both of us know he'll never lay eyes on it.

We play trains and go round and round the track saying, "chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga....CHOO CHOO!!!!!!"

We bounce and BOUNCE on the......... "COLORFUL....BOUNCING....BOUNCING......BOUNCING.....BOUNCING.............BALL!" (the birthing ball).

We dance and we sing and we plug each others noses while saying silly things in the funny nasal voice that comes out.

We play with a yellow balloon and throw it up in the air and try not to let it touch the ground - this is completely thrilling and totally suspenseful EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

We paint pictures and color pictures and write lots of things on big pieces of project paper.

I chop up vegetables and Freddy steals bites of them thinking he is so sneaky and funny while I'm thinking this is a great game cause he would NEVER eat these things so willingly if he thought I wanted him to.

We read stories. Freddy reads most of the stories to me. He remembers them all word for word and just loves to look at the pictures and read with me. He sits on my lap and gets so comfortable and snuggles right in and as I read he will finish the sentences or just take over altogether. I am always shocked when he can do this after we have only read a story once or twice....it never gets old, his intelligence.

We play dinosaurs. My dinosaur (Blue) always wants to sing and dance and Freddy's dinosaur (appropriately named, Dinosaur) always comes flying at mine. It is the cause of much laughter.

We have tickle fights and Freddy always loses (but that is the way he likes it).

We talk about his dreams. Lately he wants to talk about the flying bug in his dream. He also reassures himself that I am not a dinosaur like I was in his dream but I am in fact "just a mama", and tells me about how daddy saved him. He also had a dream that he was "lost and fallin' down" - we snuggled and snuggled after this dream quite a bit.

We "send messages" on Skype to our favorite Skype contacts (Auntie Kerstin, Nana, and Ye Ye). This is a favorite activity.

We watch videos on the computer. Freddy's favorites are as follows, "Video I'm Born", "Video I'm Eating" and "Video I'm Playin' Wii".

We talk about Henrik and to Henrik and Freddy is always so quick to give his baby brother lots of snuggles and kisses and to say, "It's OK Henrik, we right here...." He's anticipating LOTS of crying and we talk a lot about how we can make Henrik feel better. These things include, patting him on the bum, giving him "mama's milkies" and giving him a "blankie".

We have also started watching "THE PRICE IS.....RIGHT!" (on occasion). It is so funny how much Freddy gets into this show. He will yell out, "WE WON $25,000!!!!" and I've even heard him telling his "guys" (stuffed animals) that they have, "WON A NEEEEW.....CAR!"

Today we went outside. It is sunny and beautiful out today. It is warm enough in the sun that we went out with just a hat and a sweatshirt to play. We piled up the leaves and threw them up in the air. We hit the leaves with a "BIG STICK" and watch them go flying. We played hide and seek, where Freddy hid in between two branches of a tree every single time. We tossed a beach ball back and forth and "ran FAST, SO fast". We threw leaves at each other and tickled each others noses with little "baby leaves". We snuggled in the sun when we got a tad bit chilly and then we sang songs including a made up one that goes like this:

Twinkle twinkle Freddy's belly, how I wonder if your smelly. Up above your knees so far, like a pumpkin on a bar. Twinkle, twinkle Freddy's belly, how I wonder if your SMELLY!!!!!

We played and played until we were too tired to play anymore. It was wonderful, just like every other day as of late. These last few days have reminded me of how sacred the past 2 years, 8 months, 1 week and 1 day have been.

It's been Freddy and me for almost 3 years. Just us. He's been perfect and wonderful and I have struggled and made so many mistakes. It makes me sick to think about how much of him I missed out on when the days got long and hard and I allowed myself to be grouchy, selfish and impatient. My heart aches when I consider the times that I didn't handle myself as a mother of the Lords divine children should, and caused my precious little boy pain.

I have been humbled to tears when I think back on this time and am confronted with the fact that Freddy loves me so purely and so powerfully despite all these mistakes I have made. Despite my complete and utter imperfection, this child, this perfect child, still loves me and thinks I am wonderful.

I am so excited for Henrik to arrive. I am so excited for him to officially join our family here on earth. I can't wait to hold him, nurse him, snuggle him, sing to him and love him every day. I can't wait to see what he looks like and to see if his personality is anything like I have imagined, BUT....

at the same time, there is a tiny part of me that is so sad. I am so sad that this very sacred time that I have had with my first born will be coming to an end. Soon it will no longer be just me and my Freddy boy. I'm not sure how to explain it. All I know is that this time with him has been the most amazing time of my life. I have learned and grown so much as I have mothered my little Freddy boy and I am sad that I am now moving on. I guess it's kind of like coming home from a mission...it's so exciting and just WONDERFUL but at the same time it's so hard to leave and your so sad that its over and you know that once your gone you can never go back.

Freddy,

I just want you to know how much I love you. I can never thank you enough for being my first born. You are such a special boy and I know that no one could have ever done the amazing job you have done of bringing me closer to the Savior. No one could ever take your place. You will be my baby boy forever. I'm sorry for all of my mistakes. Thank you for constantly forgiving me. You have taught me so much....you will never know. I love you, I love you, I LOVE you. I hope you will always know that.

Are you ready to be a big brother? I know you are more ready for this than I am...

Love you too much and TOO much,

Mama

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 16

Today, 16 November 2011, I am grateful for my husband who woke up at 5:30 to work on his documentary, then made all of us breakfast, did the dishes, got Freddy dressed, took Freddy to Story Hour and then played outside before he went to work. I was able to do my prenatal exercises, fold the laundry, study scriptures and meditate. He is so wonderful. No one can ever truly understand how selfless and loving he is. Freddy, Henrik and I are so lucky to have him.

11.15.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 15

15 November 2011, I am thankful for the work my husband has, even if it isn't ideal. I am thankful for the health my family has been blessed with. I am thankful for a warm home to live in, cars that get us where we need to go and food to feed my family. I am so grateful for this comfortable life that I have.

11.14.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 14

Oh goodness gracious! Today, 14 November 2011, I am so very grateful for my relationship with Heavenly Father. I am equally grateful for the loving sacrifice that Christ so willingly made so that this relationship is possible and can continue to grow forever.

11.13.2011

24 Days of Gratitude: Day 13

What? It's 13 November 2011 already? Is it really possible to be surprised by this when I've been counting down the days of the month? I guess so...

I know I've already been grateful for this before but today I'm feeling even more grateful for my little Freddy boy. I love him so much. I will always be grateful for him in a very special way because he is the one who made me a mother for the very first time. He is the one who taught me how to be a mother. He is the one that teaches me everyday how to be a better mother and reminds me of my divine purpose in this life. He keeps me on the straight and narrow. As I concentrate on making sure he will always hold tight to the iron rod, I realize that he is the reason that I am holding on tighter than ever. He is such a special little boy and when I see him I remember that he is a partner with Christ in saving me and bringing me home to my Heavenly Father.
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